Ethics and Technology

Ethics and Technology



Ethics and Technology

Part 1

A Trojan horse is a malicious program that claims to be something desirable. It is a hacking program, which gains access to an operating system by presenting itself as important and normal but tends to create an unauthorized access to a computer. Trojan horses contain a malicious code that when run leads to loss of files and installation of additional harmful software (Aycock, 2011). For a Trojan horse to spread, the user invites the program, for instance, by opening mail attachments. Trojans have many negative effects such as crashing a computer, theft of data, upload of files, watching a user’s screen and controlling the system remotely among others.

According to Aycock (2011), worms are viruses by design but are more advanced. Worms are malicious software programmed to travel unaided while replicating to spread to several other computers. Worms spread themselves automatically across the network to infect many computers. For example, a worm can send itself to all emails in an address book and the stretch continues down the line. The devastating effect of these is that they cause the consumption of too much system memory. This causes computers, web servers or network servers to stop responding. A characteristic of the computer worm is that it creates a backdoor that gives malicious users access to a system, possibly allowing compromise of personal and confidential information.

Part 2

According to Kantian ethics, an action can be good if the principle ground rule behind it is a task to moral law. Therefore, Morris had gone contrary to the rule of morality and his actions could not be justified. Kant’s construction of moral law was a stand on the categorical imperative, which acts on all people without considering their desires. In this case, everyone has a duty not to act against morality, lie and commit certain actions for personal gains and selfish interests. Kant, on his ethical theory, based people’s actions on the reason that made them act that way. He argued that reason determined behavior (Kant & Gregor, 2010). On his duty-based morals, ethics is concerned on what people do and not on the consequences; hence, all people should act on goodwill. Morality should respect moral values. Morris’ actions built on reasons that could not justify his actions. He acted against the Marxism principle of goodwill. His behavior of spreading the worm does not conform to reason although its consequences do not contribute to the moral worth of the act.

According to utilitarian ethics, the morality of an action is determined by its outcome. Therefore, Morris’ actions could not be justified. Utilitarian ethics emphasize on the penalty of our acts. For utilitarian ethics, the obvious consequences are pain and suffering. The theory under normative ethics seeks to maximize utility by reducing suffering and maximizing on happiness. The consequential theory also looks up on the long-term and immediate effects of our actions. The philosophers maintain that, for every act we consider, we should determine whether it is right or wrong, and find this by computing its consequences. In Morris’ case, the motive of his action was not bad, as he wanted to prove his work of innovation. However, he did not refer to whether his account will cause pain or pleasure. Mill sites that the morality of an action depends purely on its intention that is more on the worth of the agent and what he/she will do (West, 2003). Therefore, in this direction Morris went against ethics in his actions. He never evaluated the consequences, and as a result, he faces pain and suffering.


Aycock, J. (2011). Computer viruses and malwares. New York, NY: Springer.

Kant, I., & Gregor, M. J. (2010). Groundwork of the metaphysics of morals. Cambridge, U.K: Cambridge University Press.

West, H. R. (2003). An introduction to Mill’s utilitarian ethics. Cambridge, U.K: Cambridge University Press.

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